Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sunday.



Was going to do a long and rambling blog this evening, but have run out of time; so will have to do a fairly quick  'Mystery Object',  two photographs of which are shown. The upper photo shows the whole object (it is one foot, three inches in length, although I have seen even longer ones). They were made for a quite specific purpose, I'm told. The lower photograph shows the mechanism of the device. Please have a guess at where they were made, roughly when, and the 'quite specific' purpose for which they were made.
Will now stagger off to bed, so  Goodnight to all, if any, readers.

16 comments:

Crowbard said...

Well Mike, just to prove you have at least one regular reader I thought I knew this one last-night, but being a kindly soul I thought I would give some of your other fans a measured shot at it. As our infantry officers used to say to Bony's mob 'Tirez vous le premiere me Sires', doffing their tricorn titfers the while. They treated battle like a game in those days.

paul cully said...

I'm pretty sure it's a powder horn, and the mettalic gizmo is for regulating the amount of powder per load. You just have to tell me how far off the mark I am and I'll slink back into the bushes, my face burning with shame.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Carl and Paul. You are both on the right lines, but Crowbard is slightly more on those lines in that it is a shot flask for loading a sporting gun rather than a powder flask. Two fairly similar flasks were carried, one for gunpowder and one for lead shot; the difference in the two flasks being the release and measuring device at the nozzle end. Even Crowbard has missed one fairly important point though about this device. I think we'll leave it until tomorrow, in case anyone else has spotted this point,and wishes to have a guess at it, although I have dealt with it at length in my description of the device.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Should have added that the device is English, and of mid nineteenth century date.

Crowbard said...

Hello again Paul, initially (about 60 years ago) I had difficulty in distinguishing powder flasks from shot-flasks. I tried to give you a hint Paul with the words 'measured shot' and 'game' to suggest sporting guns. I had also hoped that 'tri-corn hats' would indicate the correct period for the item, but I may have been a tad early. Perhaps the large size is the important Item I missed, I can imagine a gillie would need a large shot flask to reload several guns for his master's day of shooting and may have served several masters if it was a close field.

Crowbard said...

I thought I was a bit early with the cocked-hat dating, Mike. America's president James Monroe earned the nickname "The Last Cocked Hat" and he served from 1817-1825 I believe.

Crowbard said...

I don't suppose they would have been big enough to service punt-guns for wild-fowling, Mike?
But then, you only make a few shots while your out because it takes the ducks quite a while to settle back down after each shot so maybe that's their specific function.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard and Paul. The size of the item is the real clue. It would hold about four times the amount of the usual shot flask. I think it was probably made to be carried by a ghillie (if North of the border) or a gamekeeper/loader if further South; so that the shooter's shot flask could be replenished, or refilled, if need be. I think that between the two of you, you got a complete answer. Well done!

P.s. I have, since putting up this 'mystery object', sold the item to a friend of mine, who collects sporting guns, and their accessories. He'd not seen a similar flask (although he'd heard of them) and is very pleased with this one.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. It would, of course, have been used at a 'driven' shoot.

paul cully said...

You say quite glibly, "the size of the item", as though there was anything in the picture to enlighten us as to " the size" or lack of size of said item. A ruler or any readily recognizable object with which to make a comparison would be appreciated. Harumph.

Crowbard said...

Hi Paul, Mike has inadvertently hidden the size of the object in the text of his blog under the 2nd photo on the 3rd & 4th line down. I believe he states it is one foot three inches which I make to be about 37.5 cms in new-longness. Deepest sympathy with the poorly throat, I should take a hot toddy for that 'Harumph' I'm sure it will make you feel a lot better.
All kindly blessings,
Carl/crowbard

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Paul. You may have noticed that the item is hanging on a brick wall. I'll be beggared if I'll drive nails through a perfectly good foot rule into a brick wall just to save you the trouble of trouble of reading the clearly stated size of the item in question. Also I cannot approve of Crowbard's use of centimetres in an otherwise respectable blog. I think centimetres were introduced by the 'Corsican Tyrant' in France when the French were chucking their weight about in the nineteenth century. I've never used them - can't think in them.

P.s. and H'umph to both you and Crowbard.

P.p.s. Whatever next ?!!!!!!!

Crowbard said...

Tsk, Tsk! dear Bruv, of course you're right. We're English and Imperial standards are the only ones that count (in East Anglia).... But the colonies and the empire haven't kept pace along side us, they've embraced the decimal system and integrated them into their unEnglish lifestyles because they can't count in dozens and scores. While I apologise unreservedly for sullying the sacred Englishness of your blog with untraditional but passing fads from foreign parts I must beg you to understand my missionary zeal to assist the benighted peoples of distant climes by translating your pure and clear English feet and inches into the absurd approximations which apply in their far-flung heathen homelands. We will only civilize them by helping them understand the greater worth of our majestic measure.
(p.S. if any of you foreign Johnies out there find this offensive please check out the English words "ironic whimsy).

paul cully said...

I cannot imagine how I missed the dimensions, what a tool!!!! Forests and trees come to mind. Any way I'll be putting my foot in my mouth every so often, and I hope you'll indulge me.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Paul. Please don't worry about it. It's something we all do occasionally - missing the obvious. I think it's to do with reading tooo fast. As you say - missing the wood for the trees.
Warm regards, Mike.

Crowbard said...

'A foot' in your mouth, eh? You must be a distant relative, we all do it ~ only I expect you say 'Thirty centimetres' in the mouth Paul?